February 14, 2021

Ben Brooks on the Reminders App

Ben Brooks, on


Things and OmniFocus make for shitty reminder tools. They aren’t built for it. They are built for workflows, for managing tasks, projects, and tackling complexity with complex and flexible tooling. They are the JIRA of the personal task management world.

This prompted me to move to Reminders for the next few weeks. I’ve been struggling with Things for a while — nothing to do with the app, it still is one of the best designed iOS apps with the best backend sync engine.

But my love affair with Obsidian has changed my tasks/projects flow considerably. Now it’s Obsidian what I open to figure out today’s tasks, or sort what’s the plan for the week. And in the duality of project management use, Things was being left behind.

I’ve tried using the stock Reminders app since its last update a few times, but it has never stuck.

There’s an additional source of imbalance in the force: Fantastical. I’ve become a calendar worker; peers and superiors now look at my calendar to set meetings. Timeboxed work sessions have appeared out of necessity rather than philosophy. So what?

Fantastical has reminders support, which I’ve stayed away until now — because I didn’t want to dilute my tasks inputs into yet-another-bucket. But if the same bucket can have multiple interfaces, that seems like a workable compromise.

Let’s see how this three body problem turns out.


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